Dear Editor – Firstly I want to maintain that the police arrests done during the logging dispute in Vanikoro was unprofessional.
Secondly the writer of the article, Benjamin Tua and his grandfather are settlers on Vanikoro during the first logging operates of the 1930s Benjamin Tua’s grandfather came from the Polynesian otters of the Reef islands, they are not indigenous people of Vanikoro.
There is only one family that is indigenous to Vanikoro and we the Tikopia people know this family.
There are now more than ten families who claim to be indigenous but are not. We can trace all of your grandfathers and fathers back to the Reef islands, Duff islands and Utupua. If you claim Tikopians are settlers then all Melanesians on Vanikoro are settlers too.
There is only one indigenous family who has been living on Vanikoro Island from the 1800s. Today they number only around twelve people.
The 1000 Melanesian people living in Vanikoro today do not relate to this first indigenous one family. The 800 Polynesian people also do not relate to this one indigenous family. Whether you are Melanesian or Polynesian, all of us one settlers. You cannot claim to be indigenous because we all come from Tikopia, Utupua, Duff and Reef Islands; setting in Vanikoro from the 1930s to 1970s.